The Australian and New Zealand women’s hockey teams observe a moment of silence for the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
A “devastated” Olivia Merry thought of her home town Christchurch as she scored twice in the Black Sticks’ upset of Australia in the FIH Pro League women’s hockey match in Sydney on Sunday.
Nearly a year on from their Commonwealth Games gold medal when beating Australia in the decider, the New Zealanders again produced the goods across the Tasman in a 3-1 victory at Olympic Park.
The Black Sticks, reeling from Friday’s mass shooting in Christchurch, rallied in wet conditions to condemn Australia to a double loss in their last weekend of home matches.
Merry took her tournament-leading tally to eight goals.
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“I’m from Christchurch and we’re all devastated,” she said.
“My heart goes out to all those people affected by it. We really appreciated the minute’s silence before the game.
“We came out firing from the get-go and it was a good team performance.”
Merry opened the scoring with a penalty corner in the 17th minute, then helped the Black Sticks double their lead with a 32nd minute field goal.
Australia’s Savannah Fitzpatrick narrowed the gap before New Zealand’s Amy Robinson slotted home from a penalty corner in the 52nd minute to restore the two-goal buffer.
Goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon was an imposing presence and key figure in the victory.
It was New Zealand’s first away match of the Pro League and their fourth win from eight as they sit just behind Australia in fifth on the ladder.
It wasn’t such good news for the New Zealand men who remained winless with a one-sided defeat to Australia at the same venue.
Australia beat the Black Sticks 5-1, after both sides huddled together for a minute’s silence in memory of the Christchurch victims.
Hayden Phillips scored New Zealand’s only goal in the 15th minute, via a penalty corner, to pull back a 2-0 deficit inside the first quarter.
But Australia regained the upper hand against their trans-Tasman rivals, and had their five goals by the 38 minute mark when Daniel Beale scored.
Tom Wickham notched a double for Australia, the competition frontrunners who have 22 goals in the tournament and five wins from seven.
For the Black Sticks men it was their fifth loss from seven matches, having scored 15 goals and conceded 27.